Montana State University


Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics

The Bachelor of Science degree in economics stresses the use of economics as a means of understanding current economic activities and problems and their relationship to our social environment. Economics is the study of critical decision-making behavior. It is a mode of thinking and reasoning with widespread application. The skills that employers value most highly are the ability to think critically and carefully, the ability to learn new skills and the ability to solve problems. Some vocations may require very specific skills (for example, knowledge of a particular computer software package). However, skill requirements change over time. The need for people who can think, learn and solve problems is timeless. Economics hones these time-honored abilities

The objective of the program is to provide the student with a liberal university education with particular emphasis on economics. In keeping with this objective, requirements are specified largely in terms of broad subject areas rather than designation of particular courses. The student, with the help of the advisor, is given the opportunity to develop a program to meet his or her own particular needs and interests. With this freedom, however, comes the responsibility of building an overall program that is both cohesive and academically sound. The program focuses on teaching students to think, to use logic and reason, and to organize their thoughts in order to solve problems rather than simply memorize and recite the subject matter. The courses also focus on instilling in students a desire to learn, so that they will leave our courses prepared and eager for lifelong learning.

The economics program, with its flexibility, offers the opportunity to acquire a general university education and the necessary background and preparation for many career objectives. Economics majors pursue a wide variety of careers after graduation. Students with a bachelor's degree in economics are often employed in the financial, retailing, and industrial sectors of the economy. Economics majors also work in such diverse fields as actuarial science, elementary and secondary education, journalism, investment banking, securities analysis, corporate finance, insurance, law, politics, and environmental regulation, as well as in government and academia. Graduate schools regard a degree in economics as excellent preparation for advanced work toward a degree in law as well as a Ph.D. in a number of social science fields such as economics, international relations, public policy, and political science. Economics is also an excellent undergraduate major for students seeking an MBA. What you can do with an education in economics is unlimited!

Curriculum in Economics

Freshman Year Credits
COM 110US--Public Communication    3
ECNS 101IS--Economic Way of Thinking     3
ECNS 202--Principles of Macroeconomics    3
WRIT 101W--College Writing I     3
Take one of the following:
     M 161Q--Survey of Calculus    4
     M 171Q--Calculus I     4
University Core and Electives    14
Sophomore Year Credits
ACTG 201--Principles of Financial Accounting    3
ECNS 204IS--Microeconomics     3
WRIT 201--College Writing II     3
STAT 216Q--Introduction to Statistics     3
University Core and Electives     18
Junior and Senior Years Credits
ECNS 301--Intermediate Micro with Calculus    3
ECNS 303--Intermediate Macro with Calculus     3
Choose one of the following Capstones:
     ECNS 432R--Benefit-Cost Analysis 3
     ECNS 403R--Intro to Econometrics 3
STAT 217Q--Interm Statistical Concepts     3
University Core and Electives     48

NOTE: ECNS 251IS (Honors Economics, 4 credits) may be substituted for the 3 course sequence ECNS101IS, ECNS 202, and ECNS 204IS.

Electives Must Include:
One of the following:
     AGBE 337--Agricultural Law    3
     BGEN 361--Intro to Law     3
One of the following:
     BMGT 205--Professional Communication Fundamentals    3
     WRIT 221--Intermediate Tech Writing     3
     WRIT 326--Advanced Composition     3
     WRIT 429--Professional Writing     3
Social Sciences
     (excluding AGBE/ECNS; the 6
     credits must be from one or more of the
     following disciplines: anthropology,
     geography, political science, psychology,
     sociology, or history)
Upper division selected courses
     in AGBE/ECNS


*At least two AGBE/ECNS courses (6 credits) at the 400 level or higher are required, excluding seminars, 490's/492's.

Students completing a double major with economics as one of the majors are only required to meet their University Core or Social Science requirements.

Students completing a double major with finance and economics as the two majors may use ECNS313 - Money & Banking as an elective in the economic major.

Entrance to the Economics Program:

Program entrance requirements are that a student must (1) have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.50 and received a grade of C or better in each of the following courses: ECNS 101IS, ECNS 202, ECNS 204IS, and M 161Q or M 171Q (or their equivalents), OR (2) be an incoming transfer student or of freshman standing.

Graduation Requirements

Economics students must receive a grade of C or better in ECNS 101IS, ECNS 202, ECNS 204IS, ECNS 301, ECNS 303, and M 161Q or M 171Q (or their equivalents) to meet departmental graduation requirements. All other courses counting toward departmental requirements must be graded C- or better. Thirty-three (33) economics credits are needed to graduate.

A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation; 42 credits must be in courses numbered 300 and above.


A student must receive a grade of C- or better in all courses required for the minor.

Economics Requirements Credits
ECNS 101IS--Economic Way of Thinking    3
ECNS 202--Principles of Macroeconomics    3
ECNS 204IS--Microeconomics     3
ECNS 301--Intermediate Micro with Calculus     3
ECNS 303--Intermediate Macro with Calculus     3
Three additional ECNS courses at the
300 - 400 level (No seminars, 492 or 490)*
Supporting Requirements Credits
STAT 216Q--Introduction to Statistics    3
Take one of the following:
     M 161Q--Survey of Calculus    4
     M 171Q--Calculus I     4

NOTE: ECNS 251IS (Honors Economics, 4 credits) may be substituted for the three-course sequence: ECNS 101IS, ECNS 202, and ECNS 204IS.

"P" grades may be accepted at the discretion of the department only for courses transferred from outside the Montana State University System.

*The three additional ECNS courses at the 300-400 level(no seminars, 492s, or 490s) may include one and only one ECNS 300 level courses being utilize to satisfy a student's major requirements.

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Updated: December 8, 2011